Steven Sueppel (August 13, 1965 – March 24, 2008) was a former executive of Hills Bank and Trust Company and resident of Iowa City, Iowa, United States. He was charged with stealing $559,040 from the bank over a period of several years, but pleaded not guilty to embezzlement and money laundering on February 20, 2008. On the evening before or morning of his own death, Sueppel murdered his wife and four children (aged 3, 5, 7, and 10).
Early life and marriage
Sueppel was born on August 13, 1965, the son of William and Patricia Tierney Sueppel. He graduated from Regina High School and the University of Northern Iowa. The Sueppel family were members of St. Mary's Catholic Church, and Steven married Sheryl Kesterson there on June 13, 1990. During their marriage, the couple adopted four South Korean children: Ethan, Seth, Mira, and Eleanor. The family attended services at St. Mary's every week, and had been present at the church's Easter mass on Sunday, March 23, 2008.
Details of murder
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According to police, on the night of March 23 or the morning of March 24, 2008, Sueppel bludgeoned his wife Sheryl to death and then took the four children to the garage and attempted to kill them (and himself) by carbon monoxide poisoning. When this failed, he resorted to a baseball bat and killed the children before driving to nearby City Park where he attempted to drown himself. When this in turn failed, he then called 911, requested that rescue personnel be sent to his home, and then drove his van into a concrete abutment on Interstate 80. He died of the combination of injuries suffered in the collision along with the resulting fire. Sueppel's remains had to be identified using dental records.
In the days after, there was some controversy over the inclusion of Sueppel in the Catholic funeral for his wife and children. Factoring in were differing accounts of possible mental illness both independent of and related to Sueppel committing familicide. In August 2008, Hills Bank and Trust filed court documents demanding payment from Sueppel's estate for the allegedly embezzled funds and for $32,673 in outstanding loans.
- "Ex-bank official pleads not guilty". Gazette. 2008-03-24.
- "Dad apologized before killings". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
- Press, MICHAEL J. CRUMB, Of The Associated. "Iowa City mourns Sueppel family". Mason City Globe Gazette. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
- News, A. B. C. (2008-03-26). "Indicted Banker's Desperate Murder-Suicide". ABC News. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
- Jordan, Erin (May 5, 2008). "Faithful question church funeral for killer". The Des Moines Register. p. 1B.
- Hermiston, Lee (August 29, 2008). "Hills Bank seeking $556K from Steven Sueppel estate". Iowa City Press-Citizen. Retrieved 2008-09-05.[dead link]